THE United States Supreme Court dragged its country, much of it kicking and screaming, into the 21st century Wednesday morning with two rulings being celebrated by the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
One ruling guaranteed that married same-sex couples would be entitled to the same federal benefits every other married couple gets, as long as their state recognizes same-sex marriage. The other reopened the way for same-sex marriage in California, which had previously been killed in an embarrassing state referendum.
Though they are rightly considered victories in the struggle for equal rights, the court was actually only ruling on complex legal arguments that did not really address the fundamental question of equality for all Americans. With only 13 states recognizing same-sex marriage, the fact remains that two-thirds of Americans remain in a separate, subordinate class.
Thankfully, it's not the same in this country. That reinforces just how much we have to celebrate on Canada Day this weekend.
The equality same-sex couples in America are still fighting for, we've had for more than a decade, thanks to the work of activists who fought and won in provincial courts in 2003, as well as a ruling from our own Supreme Court of Canada in 2004. Eight years ago, a 158 to 133 vote in the House of Commons finished the job across Canada.
Such decisions prove Canada Day isn't just a long weekend or an excuse for fireworks. It's a meaningful recognition of the things that make us great - true equality being just one of them.
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